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Sunday 22 April 2018

We'll fight to the end: Conte

Chelsea 2 Brighton 0

Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso celebrates scoring his side’s second goal with Alvaro Morata (top) during yesterday’s Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge. Pic: Adam Davy/PA
Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso celebrates scoring his side’s second goal with Alvaro Morata (top) during yesterday’s Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge. Pic: Adam Davy/PA

Antonio Conte reflected on a dominant display after Brighton fell to a 2-0 Premier League defeat at Stamford Bridge yesterday.

Alvaro Morata returned from suspension to nod home the opener 40 seconds after half-time before Marcos Alonso headed in a Cesc Fabregas' corner to put the result beyond doubt.

"It was a good performance. We shot 25 times, eight on target with 13 corners and a lot of possession," Conte said.

"We dominated the game in the same way as in the previous game against Everton. The difference here was that we scored.

Intensity

"We had many chances to improve the final result, but I saw good intensity and great commitment from the players.

"It was positive for Alvaro to score because he's our number nine and didn't play against Everton.

"Also for Alonso to score five goals until now, for a wing back, is a great achievement. But it's important for him to continue scoring!"

Manchester City are runaway leaders at the summit of the Premier League - they are 12 points clear of second place - and Conte admitted Chelsea must look beyond the title for inspiration this season.

"There is great motivation to fight until the end.

"I don't know if we can do this for the title because it depends on Manchester City, who are having a fantastic run," Conte said.

"With the other top teams, we stay there to fight. There is great motivation for us and other teams to get a place in the Champions League next season.

"We want to improve. Our start this season wasn't great for many reasons, but we want to improve and be proud to play every game.

"We wanted to win this game because it was very important to start the second part of the season with a win. We are doing a good job but we have to continue in this way."

Brighton manager Chris Hughton admitted the undoing of his side's resolute first-half defending so soon after the interval was a crushing blow, but was more frustrated by Chelsea's second.

Dramatically

"When you analyse the game, it wasn't dramatically different to what you thought it would be.

"They had a lot of possession, probed, asked questions and we had to defend well," Hughton said.

"For me the two biggest disappointments are the timing of the first goal, which gave them a real lift, and conceding the second one from a set play.

"Set players are the area where you'd think we can be on the same level.

"At 1-0 you're still in the game, no matter how much possession they have. We're hugely disappointed with the two goals.

"At half-time the message was very much 'more of the same'. We knew they would push even harder and become more expansive and up their game," he added.

"We did well in the first half, but a goal so early in the second half knocks you back and gives them a lift."

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